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FISHBURNE PLEADS GUILTY TO STRANGLING WOMAN, 25

Taji R. Fishburne admitted Friday that he strangled his brother's girlfriend in a fight last year.

Fishburne, 24, told Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. that he lost control after Angela C. Jackson, 25, struck him in the head during an April 7, 2003, altercation.

It happened in a home on Ninth Street in Niagara Falls that Jackson shared with Fishburne, his brother Kareem Fishburne and Jackson's 11-year-old son.

"I got hit in the head with something," Fishburne said in a loud, clear voice. "I strangled her with a scarf. . . . She was standing up and fell out of my arms."

First Assistant District Attorney Timothy R. Lundquist said Fishburne's statement corresponded to the results of the police investigation.

Fishburne, who was scheduled to be tried on a second-degree murder charge Aug. 9, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Broderick agreed to the attorneys' recommendation for a sentence of no more than 20 years in prison; the legal maximum is 25 years. Sentencing was set for Sept. 16.

Fishburne had rejected the same plea bargain three months ago, but his attorneys said last week's revelation of DNA test results that showed Jackson's blood on his clothing changed his mind.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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